Pride Matters: Munroe Bergdorf

 

Munroe Bergdorf

DJ, Actress, Model, Activist

Pride made me realise how diverse we are…

My first Pride was Brighton Pride in 2005. I couldn’t really believe how many people there were. I identified as gay at the time and you could feel the good vibes in the air. There are not many events where people in the community feel like they’re on the same page. It was a really special awakening and it really made me feel I belonged in the community. I’d been in gay clubs for a while and I felt a part of something queer, back then people didn’t use terms like genderfluid which looking back now I realise I probably was. At that point people were mainly using “gay” or “trans” to identify. There was no non-binary or other + identities.

You don’t need Pride to be unified…

That experience at Pride opened my eyes to how varied our community is. On the queer scene there are so many different identities but I think its quite easy to get fogged in your own identity and of those around you. Pride exposed me to difference. There is nothing that does this like Pride and because of this I try and apply to how I felt there to everything I get involved with. With that unity and sense of diversity. It isn’t very easy to do that, but I believe we should strive to do so. You don’t need Pride to be unified. Every event we organise bear that in mind.

 

The problem as I see it is….

I think scenes are fantastic but they can also be a bit of curse. That said if everyone felt they were included, they wouldn’t need the cliques. Genre is one thing but people set up scenes as a reaction to not feeling included and lack of diversity is a huge factor. The problem as I see it is that we very rarely listen to each other: gay guys doesn’t listen to lesbians, trans women don’t listen to (???) and so on. There’s a lot of hostility but at Pride events we throw down the guns, wave the flag and everyone comes together for a common cause. Living this truth everyday is easier said than done. It’s hard to create change when one side wants peace and the other wants war. Why can’t we all agree to safe spaces in clubs and on panel discussions where people with privilege can listen to voices that are often not heard in public and not speak over QTPOC people?

UKBP is important because…

The more Prides that I went to, the more I realised it wasn’t as perfect as I first thought it was. I think that there s a definite need for Black Pride, not just for black music but because in the gay community there’s a lot of fetishism and club nights that cater to black people are run by white people and they don’t fully understand how black people feel. I don’t think there’s that safe space element; it’s all about the music so there’s not much social context. By contrast at Black Pride there is a definite sense of pride and being present as our intersections, whether that’s LBGT and black. It’s recognising our experience is wholly different from white LGBT people Black Pride addresses that.

Lady Phyll is a living deity…

I always respected her but when she rejected the OBE and explained why I understood the symbolic importance of rejecting Royal recognition because the monarchy stands for the influx of colonialism, Christianity, homophobia and gender roles which weren’t established in the normative binary way of the West. In the Americas and Asia indigenous peoples celebrated more than two genders so to me, the monarchy and their subjects have had a huge impact on how LGBT people are treated.

Twitter: @MunroeBergdorf

 

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